Cellulosic Biofuel Issues

 By: Alexander Sutton
There are many different types of fuel available for use by consumers for transportation purposes. Some of these fuels are sourced from naturally occurring deposits below the earth's surface. Crude oil, a form of fossil fuel, is one of the most common types of substances extracted from deposits deep below the earth's surface. Crude oil is processed into a useable substance, either gasoline or diesel fuel, that can be used in automobiles, trucks, locomotives, ships and generators. Although fossil fuels are the most common fuel sources, they are also some of the least efficient and produce some of the highest levels of carbon emissions of any fuel. Carbon emissions can be harmful to environmental processes, which is undesirable and there is a finite natural source which may be depleted very rapidly at the present rate of consumption.

There have been technological advancements that allow the use of non-fossil based materials that can be converted into useable products that can, in part, replace fossil fuels. One of the materials that have used to produce biofuels is corn. Corn is a reasonably good alternative fuel source. However, there are some downfalls of corn as a feedstock; it needs to be replanted in order to have a crop each growing cycle. While corn is a good alternative to fossil fuel, some argue, there are even better alternatives know as cellulosic biofuels.

Biofuels are fuels produced from organic materials that are grown rather than drilled for in deposits found in the earth. Cellulosic biofuel is fuel that is produced from organic sources but not from corn or other high sugar content feedstock. It is actually produced by using feedstock that is alternative to corn feedstock. Wood chips are just one example of an alternative feedstock source. Another example is algae; algae are very abundant and are very easily renewable as a feedstock choice.

Cellulosic biofuel is fast becoming a viable option to traditional fossil fuel based products. The abundance of material is changing the industry very rapidly. What was once a fringe idea and a very inefficient model has become the new challenge and goal of fuel producers. By utilizing organic feedstock, that in some cases is waste product from other manufacturing processes like saw dust or wood chips, the producers of petroleum and petroleum based products will slowly change the landscape of transportation fuels. Cellulosic biofuels are the future of the petroleum industry.
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